A recent report over the use of drugs in Turkey prepared by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has studied the situation of drug addicts in the country.
According to the survey prepared by the CHP’s commission on Women and Children Rights Monitoring and Examining, all drug addicted girls across Turkey said they are “harassed.” However, a large majority of addicts, 98 percent, are male.
To prepare the report, the commission examined the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers (AMATEM) and Child and Teen Drug Addiction Treatment Centers (ÇEMATEM).
CHP Tekirdağ deputy Candan Yüceer and CHP Bursa deputy Sena Kaleli visited AMATEMs in Edirne, Istanbul’s Bakırköy and Erenköy districts and Bursa, as well as a ÇEMATEM in Bakırköy for the report.
Addicted girls are more likely to be victims of violence and harassment compared to men. In addition, the report also found that families tended to support their addicted sons, while addicted daughters are generally abandoned in the centers with no family support.
The surveyed addicts generally began to use drugs with cannabis, while use of the synthetic chemical “bonsai” has spread like wildfire in recent years. The report stated that women are physically more damaged by drug use compared to men.
A majority of the addicts said they have a psychological reason for using drugs.
Deaths from heroin use are lower in Turkey because a majority of the addicts do not inject it, but rather smoke it as opium, the report stated.
Teenagers and the children are more likely to mix drugs rather than using one type, it added.
The reason given by addicts for starting drug use was predominately having a relative or acquaintance who is an addict or criminal. Some 95 percent of the children interviewed said they took the drug from someone they knew before.
Up to 95 percent of the children who are receiving treatment in ÇEMATEM have dropped out of school, primarily because schools expel students who use drugs in Turkey.
The report also suggested that controversial urban transformation projects were also leading to an increase in drug addiction, adding that children from poor families who were moved from their neighborhood where an urban transformation is taking place are more likely to use drugs.
One of the main problems in the fight against drug use is the lack of trained and experienced personnel in AMATEM, the report also stated.